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He, when the lightning-wing'd tornadoes sweep smooth thickened auriform processes on either sille
of the aperture, appear to serve as points d'apr.i Which shake the world, yet crumble in the wind.” for the tentacular members said to act as oars, and
they are therefore wisely so constructed, to preThis interesting little animal has perhaps furnish- vent the laceration that might otherwise ensue from ed more matter of dispute, a greater diversity of the constant action of rowing, had those parts been opinion, and, in some instances, more ill will among formed thin and cutting as is the case with the other naturalists than any other subject in the whole range portion of the aperture. of animated nature ; and during a period of more 'than two thousand years, the question is not yet de
FROM WASHINGTON'S ORDERLY BOOK. cided, nor apparently nearer being so, whether the August 3, 1776.-" That the troops may have an animal invariably found in the Argonauta is the ar- opportunity of attending publick worship, as well as chitect of that shell, or merely a pirate. As it does to take some rest after the great fatigue they have not however form any part of the object of this work, gone through, the general in future excuses them 10 take up the dispute on either side ; and as we do from fatigue duty on Sundays, except at the shipRot arrogate w ourselves the power of elucidating a yards, or on special occasions, until further orders, matter so involved in doubt, we shall only for our The general is sorry to be informed, that the foolish part say, that the animal never having been found and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing in any part of the world living free from the shell, a rice heretofore little known in an American army, though certainly not conclusive, is good presumptive is growing into fashion ; he hopes the officers will, evidence of its being “ the lawful owner of its fairy by example as well as influence, endeavour to check bark.” Whether it should be considered one of the it, and that both they and the men will reflect, that genus Ocythot, or, as others imagine, Octopanus, it we can have but liule hope of the blessing of Heavappears to us quite certain, that none but a similarly en on our arms, if we insult it by our impiety and organized animal could have constructed such a folly ; added to this, it is a vice so mean and low, dwelling; an opiniorr we deem to some extent con- without any temptation, that every man of sense and firmed by an examination of the mollusc, whose l character detests and despises it."
| by his younger brother, John Warren. Their pathe were full of difficulties, but they were men of genius
and firmness of purpose, and would not yield to any PROFESSOR JOHN W. FRANCIS, M. D.
obstacles thrown in their
Before these pioneers WHILE eloquence and mental philosophy, in almost in their profession were called to depart from the every form had reached a high degree of perfection, scenes of their labours they saw others, belter and poets had set examples for all coming ages, the educated than themselves, filling the chairs of the healing art had made but slow progress in those schools they had founded. This first generation of branches of science, so important to the profession of professors had no ordinary share of fame, when they medicine. Correct codes of law had been formed, were living; and their pupils, who now wear their which had, in a good measure, settled the great doc- mantles, have, in gratitude and affection, taken no trines of property and personal rights; some of the small share of pains to preserve materials for the arts had nearly attained their perfection, nice dis- biographies of their masters. These materials have criminations had been suggested in morals, and sub- greatly assisted the Nestor of their profession--the lime views of hope and faith in religion had been venerable Dr. Thacher—in making up his valuable promulgated to the world, before Vesalius had turned volume of the lives of the medical men of America his acute mind to an examination of the human who have been lights in their day, and deserve an frame; and the settlement of this country had com- ample page in our records. menced before Harvey had demonstrated the fact,
No man of historical information will, for a moment, that the blood circulated in the veins of man. From question the assertion, that there is as good a share the earliest ages, human blood had been poured out of learning, acuteness, and perseverance, in the medilike water in every battle, but no observer of nature cal profession in the United States, as in any other had discovered that it had a regular tide through his walk of life. A noble rivalry has taken place among own heart.
the medical professors, and youthful aspirants for disThere were, it is true, physicians of antiquity, who tinction are every where found. This emulation not performed wonders in the advancement of medical only abounds in the cities, and large towns, but there knowledge; but their names appear, in the distances is not a village throughout the land, that does not conof time, like pyramids in the desert, grand and im- tain a respectable practitioner of medicine, and often, posing, but of litile_utility to the world. Many in the same person a good surgeon. Where quacks mighty minds, from Æsculapius to Galen, had been and charlatans once swarmed— "creatures,” to use the brought to bear upon physick and surgery, and pon- language of Hippocrates," whom ro law can reach derous tomes had been written on every branch of 'and no ignominy disgrace”—respectable physicians the healing arı, but thu age of inductive philosophy now administer to assuage the pains that flesh is had not come, and nature had only been partially heir to, and cure the maladies of the mind. unveiled. The aphorisms, laid down by Hippocrates
those who have laboured hard and others, had been misunderstood, and their pre- for ihe benefit of mankind, and for the honour and scriptions misapplied. Whatever rays of medical advantage of the healing art, may be ranked PROFESscience there were scattered through the world, they sor John W. Francis, M. D., a practitioner of had not been concentrated, and but few efforts made medicine in the city of New York—his birth place. to bring them to a focus, until a little more than a He was born in the year 1789—that eventful period century ago, when the eclectic school of medicine of our national history, when the constitution of the was founded in Scotland, which was followed by United States went into operation. His father, Melothers in London, France, and other places; yet, in chior Francis, was a German from Nuremberg, and justice it should be stated, that these philosophers known in New York as an enterprising, upright trader of the “ House of Wisdom” had lit their lamps in in groceries, possessing a very liberal and charitable the medical school at Padua. In this university spirit
, whose career of usefulness was suddenly cut the Greek and Arabic works on medicine had been short by the yellow fever, which, in those days, studied.
often visited the city. The mother of Dr. Francis Much earlier than is generally imagined, the was born in Pennsylvania ; her family, by the name accounts of what was doing in the old world were of Sommer, were originally from Berne, Switzerland. promulgated in the new. Soon after the establish- Her children were young when her husband died; ment of these medical schools in Europe, many but she was left in circumstances sufficiently easy to physicians of this country were desirous of drinking give them a good elementary education, which optorat their fountains. Those, who could not cross the tunity, as a good mother, she improved. John was Atlantick themselves, frequently sent their most continued at an English school of no little reputation, promising pupils to drink inspiration from ihe pure under the charge of the Rev. George Strebeck ; but waters, which were rolling from these springs If by particular arrangement he studied the Latin lana fortunate few only enjoyed these privileges, the guage then, for a while; and afterward pursued his number was sufficient to give a new impulse to the classical studies under the charge of the Rev. John profession in this country. Even before the com- Conroy, a distinguished graduate of Trinity college, mencement of the revolution, Rush, Bard, Warren, Dublin. By the aid of this excellent scholar he was and Hunter began to collect pupils, and diffuse medi- enabled to enter Columbia college in an advanced cal instruction in their respective circles. The standing. He was graduated in 1809, and in 1812 · political struggle, if it suspended their individual received the degree of master of arts. efforts for a while, increased the general knowledge While Dr. Francis was an undergraduate, he was in medicine and surgery throughout the country. pursuing his medical studies with great zeal and sucAfter the peace of 1783, they renewed their efforts ; cess; this was effected by a capacity, an ardour and the place of General Joseph Warren being supplied l perseverance, which have marked his whole course
of life. He had not only mental energy, but a medica. Shortly after this period, a union was vigorous constitution, which sustained him in intense effected between the medical faculty of Columbia application in the acquisition of knowledge. college and the “ College of Physicians and Sur
In 1807 he commenced his professional studies geons,” and Dr. Francis, in 1813, received from the with the late David Hosack, M. D. who was then regents the appointment of professor of materia professor of materia medica and botany, in Columbia medica. He delivered his first publick course of incollege, and among those most extensively engaged struction to a class of one hundred and twenty in the practice of physick and surgery in New York. students, declining all compensation for his services; Under this distinguished preceptor, Dr. Francis had the consolidation of two schools of medicine into one, excellent opportunities of seeing practice. During brought together so numerous a body of professors, his attendance on the lectures for four collegiate that the price of education was necessarily enhanced years he never absented himself from one of them, to those who wished to attend all the courses of innor suffered one to pass without making notes or struction ; but Dr. Francis was not among those who abstracts on the subject taught by the lecturer. sought for pecuniary rewards alone; the flattering His clinical knowledge was also much increased by manner in which his conduct was estimated, was a constant attendance at the New York Hospital; such a return as he desired for his exertions. About in fact every moment of his time was engaged; he this time he published an Historical Sketch of the never looked to society around him for amusement or college. The students of the new school upon its recreation-finding both in the variety of the subjects chartered establishment, had formed themselves into under his consideration.
a medical society, like that of Edinburgh, to improve About this period, several laws for the greater themselves by weekly discussions on medical subimprovement of medical science were enacted by the jects; the president of this society, which was legislature of the state of New York. County medio denominated the Medico-Chirurgical Society was cal societies had been formed the year before, and selected from the professors of the college, and for promised to be auxiliary in promoting the cause of many years Dr. Francis was chosen to preside over it, medical science. “ The College of Physicians and succeeding in this appointment, the learned Dr. MitchSurgeons,” under the regents of the university, was ill. Delighted at the prospect of this rising school, organized in 1807. From this institution, in 1811, and fairly estimating the intellect of those engaged in Dr. Francis received the degree of M. D. This in building it up; impressed, at the same time, with was the first commencenient of that body, under the the ample resources that the city of New
York pospresidency of Dr. Samuel Bard, and the subject of sesses of supporting such an institution, Dr. Francis this memoir was the first graduate who recorded his made up his mind to visit Europe, and to examine all name in the "
College Album.” Dr. F.'s inaugural that related to the subject-so near his heart. The thesis for the doctorate was a dissertation on Mercury, vision of a medical school, second to none on the embracing its medical history, curative action, and American continent, that should, from its superiour abuse in certain diseases. It was a fine subject, and advantages, draw together students from all parts admirably handled. His researches were extensive, of the country, was constantly on his mind. while many of his views were novel and profound; While in London, he became a pupil of the illusand they have since been confirmed in a manner trious Abernethy, and witnessed the practice of St. highly flattering to Dr. Francis, by the philosophical Bartholomew's hospital, attended the lectures of inquiries of British and continental practitioners. Brand, at the Royal Institution, those of Pearson, The hundred-armed giant, Mercury, in the materia of St. George's hospital, etc. etc. Between Abernemedica, had never been found so discriminating an thy and Francis there sprung up a strong attachment. historian. This production gave him great fame at They possessed the same cast of mind, the same once, among his fellow graduates and the faculty in decision of character, the same openness and direct. general, both in this country and in Europe. It has ness in uttering opinions, and the same scorn of been repeatedly noticed by different writers in various dawdling ceremony and grave pretensions in the languages, and maintains its reputation at the present healing art. Such was Abernethy's regard for Frantime.
cis, that he offered him a share of his business, which Dr. Francis had been in practice a few months was then oppressively extensive. only, when his late preceptor proposed to him a The mention of an anecdote, which the American copartnership in business. This proposition, from physician has often related, will show that the proud the high standing of his friend, was too flattering to Englishman loved honest fame. Dr. Francis prebe neglected. This connexion lasted untịl 1820; sented Abernethy with an American edition of his since that time Dr. F. has exercised his art on his own own writings, just published as the former left his responsibility. No man ever reached the head of native shores. Abernethy had not anticipated such his profession until he had ventured to act solely for a testimonial of his professional merits from the himself. The mind, to attain its utmost energy, United States, He seized the two volumes, cast his must poise itself on its own strength and decision, eye over them, and exclaimed, as he placed them on and take all the consequences of action.
the mantle-piece of his study, “Stay here, John We have mentioned the establishment of the Col- Abernethy, until I remove you. Egad! this from lege of Physicians and Surgeons, in the city of New America!” York, under the regents of the university. From From England, Dr. Francis went to Scotland, the organization of the institution, the chairs of every Ireland, France, and Holland. With an eager curidepartment were filled with men of distinction. Al- osity, he examined all that was rare and prominent terations were soon after made in the charter, and in these countries. His letters gave him access to Dr. Francis was appointed, by the trustees, a lec- all the savans and literati, wherever he travelled. In turer on the institutes of medicine and the materia Scotland he shared the liberality of the great profes
bors, in their schools, which had been proverbially by the professors of the medical school, are not mi-
talents, intelligence and zeal of their instructers.
anatomy and physiology was filled by the late disUpon his return, he brought out with him a curious tinguished Dr. Godman, who at the instance and on and valuable library, collected with taste and judg- the responsibility of Professor Francis, left Philadelment, which has ever since been open to those who phia for a larger sphere of usefulness and profit. are engaged in writing any thing to enlighten the They erected a most convenient building for their publick, and in proof of the esteem in which he is purposes, and entered on their respective duties with held by the scholars and literary men of this country, spirit, and continued their exertions for four terms. we will merely mention the fact, that no less than A great number of pupils flocked to their school ; thirty works upon the various departments of science but there were such difficulties thrown in their way and polite literature have been inscribed to him. by legislative enactments, particularly by the revised When he reached New York, he found that the chair statutes of the state, that although sustained by of materia medica had been added to that of chym- nearly one hundred and fifty pupils, the faculty gave istry; but he was at once appointed by the regents up their school. Dr. Francis partook largely both to that of the institutes of medicine. In the year in the labour and losses of this undertaking, and the 1817, Dr. Francis in connexion with his other duties, latter were of no small amount. Every friend and filled the chair of medical jurisprudence, which patron of sound practical medicine now admits that had become vacant by the death of Dr. Stringham. the interests of medical learning received a severe In 1819, by reason of the resignation of a professor, shock by the abandonment of this school; nor have another change became necessary; the professorship its enemies derived the advantage they expected of the institutes was added to that of the practice of from its destruction. medicine, and the regents appointed Dr. Francis In this institution Dr. Francis was professor of professor of obstetrics, with his former branch, medi-obstetrics and legal medicine; and his success was cal jurisprudence. These chairs he held until 1826, very Aattering. In amount of pupils, his classes in when he resigned, at the same time with Doctors both colleges were second only to those of anatomy, Hosack, Mott, Macneven, and Mitchill; Dr. Post, which always commands the greatest number of puhad given up the professorship of anatomy and pils in every well-arranged medical school. The also the presidency of the college, a short time pre- close relationship which exists between many parts vious. 'l'he causes, which led to the course pursued of the physiological portion of a course of instruc
tion on midwifery, with numerous topicks discussed / waters. His letter on febrile contagion, dated in in forensick medicine, enabled the professor to en- London, June, 1816, addressed to Dr. Hosack, conlarge, with practical advantage to his auditors. The tains an exposition of the views of certain British professor had a rich museum, to illustrate his various writers on the insusceptibility of the constitution to and learned disquisitions. In Dr. Francis's third a second attack of yellow fever. This curious fact edition of Denman's midwifery, a large amount of concerning the disease, which was pretty fairly defacts and opinions on the obstetrick art and medical monstrated by various writers of Great Britain and jurisprudence, may be found. His history of the the West Indies, received additional confirmation art, from the time of the ancients to that of the from Dr. Francis, from the investigation which this latest writers on the subject, has received the appro- letter brought to light, by American physicians, who bation of the most erudite and practical. He had had observed the pestilence in different parts of the devoted from four to six hours a day to private and United States. Other sources might be referred to, publick instruction, for many years, and at the same as proving the great value of Dr. Francis's clinical time had been engaged in the labours of practice. opinions on the nature and treatment of different The number of students under his care, while he diseases. His reflections on the peculiar character was connected with the institutions above-named of scarlet fever with his admirable and highly sucwas, probably, greater than that of any other profes- cessful mode of treating this formidable and fatal bor in New York. He now made up his mind to disorder, with many observations on other diseases confine himself to practice alone, refusing to engage may be seen in the new and greatly improved edition in private or publick instruction.
of “Good's Study of Medicine" edited by Dr. A. Even an extensive practice and the duties of in- Sidney Doane of New York, a book which gives a struction did not absorb all the time he devoted to better view of the opinions of American physicians, labour;
for his pen had a share of his attention. on disease, than is to be found in any other work. Before he received his medical doctorate, while a Dr. Francis was not only distinguished in the student, he united with his preceptor, Dr. Hosack, chair of medical jurisprudence for collecting a mass and issued a prospectus for a new medical journal ; of facts, and arranging them in a clear and satisfacit was called the “ American Medical and Philo- tory manner, and for explaining them to the compresophical Register.” The work was continued to hension of his humblest pupils, but for the promptfour volumes. It was filled almost entirely with ness of his expositions when called upon in courts original materials, and contains a large amount of of criminal jurisdiction. During his whole profesinformation on medical subjects. After the comple- sorship, and almost ever since, in every case which tion of the fourth volume, the editors assumed the involved a principle of medical jurisprudence, he responsibility of the work, and announced their has been present; his opinions have seldom been
This journal has been held in high consid- controverted, and never overthrown. He was in eration, and is often referred to for matters of deep attendance for the municipal authorities, in these interesi or curious inquiry.
courts ; but his integrity was above all bias, and it Dr. Francis, in conjunction with the late Dr. | was seldom that the advocale of the accused sumDyckman and Dr. Beck, was for some time editor of moned any other medical man. the New York Medical and Physical Journal, which In the opinion of the writer of this article, no they projected; he continued as one of the editors branch of science taught in our schools requires until tho termination of the third volume. This more careful investigation, or greater acuteness and work contains a number of his medical observations syrength of mind, than that of medical jurisprudence. and records : it has ceased to exist.
Comparative views and analogical reasonings, so Dr. Francis has written papers in many different often important in decisions of less responsibility, medical and scientifick journals in the United States, are of little service in juridical medicine. To obvion subjects connected with his profession ; among ate these difficulties, Dr Francis invariably availed the most prominent of these, and of a practical na- himself of the information which the morbid anatomy ture, are his observations on the use of vitriolick and pathological investigation of the case afforded. emeticks in croup, with details of cases, in which There is not a middle aged lawyer in the country this novel remedy was effective, after the formation whose memory does not furnish him with cases of of the adventitious membrane lining the trachea ; gross injustice done in criminal trials, by reason of also, remarks on the goitre, as it prevails in the west- defective medical jurisprudence. A sagacious advo ern part of New York, and elsewhere, drawn from cate, thinking that he is justified, in favour of human his tour of observation in 1823;'on sanguinaria life, to entangle the physician, if he can, bends all Canadensis; cases of morbid anatomy referred to his strength to the object, and not unfrequently sucin Otto's “ Hanbuch der pathologischen anatomie ; ceeds in throwing him into a state of confusion. In facts and inferences in medical jurisprudence; on cases of supposed death by poison, the most contraphlegmasia dolens ; on elaterium, and the croton oil; dictory opinions have been given by medical men io which potent agents he was the first, in this coun- on the stand. The doings of death are, indeed, sintry, who invited the attention of practitioners. He gular; and it is difficult for the wisest physician, at gained great credit for a paper on the successful all times, to decide upon the causes of a sudden and treatment of cases of ichthyosis. The last tract unexpected instance of the extinction of human life ; which we have seen from his pen, is one on the and how can a common observer among the faculty mineral waters of Avon in Livingston county, New tell whether it was accident, violence, or the natural York, which he recommends as possessing valuable winding up of the machine so fearfully and wondermedicinal properties for several physical infirmities ; fully made, or from suicidal frenzy, that the silver his views of which have been confirmed by the tes- cord of life was loosed, or the golden bowl brokeri, lige timony of hundreds who have found health in the ! the pitcher broken at the fuuntain,”